Musical acts come together for charity concert

Area musical acts are coming together for performances to benefit those in need and the arts.

“Mishler Bands Together for Charity” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday inside the historic Mishler Theatre in downtown Altoona.

Dr. Victor Rizzo planted the seed to hold the concert, said Kate Shaffer, executive director of the Blair County Arts Foundation.

The local chiropractor, who plays guitar and sings and has played with some area bands, approached the Mishler board with the idea of putting on a charity concert similar to one held in State College where he has performed, he said.

Most of the popular bands from the area are in the show, he said. The musicians are donating their time for the benefit concert.

The 11 musical acts are Tommy Wareham and Friends, Flight 19, Felix and the Hurricanes, Ryan Matthew, Tyne and the Fastlyne, Matt Wagner, 7th Gear, Steve Summerhill, Last Stand, The Backyard Rockers and One Brick Shy.

Kaedyn Wagner, 6, will take the stage, with her dad, Matt, as the youngest performer.

The acts will perform two to three songs each, with Rizzo emceeing and telling stories about the groups.

The concert also will feature a light show by Illumination Arts of Hollidaysburg.

The light show complementing the rock bands will include lasers, fog and other special effects, said owner Gary Fickes, who has had the business 15 years and does about 20 shows a year.

Adult beverages will be for sale for the first time at the Mishler before the show begins and during the intermission, Rizzo said.

A VIP reception at 5 p.m. for those who have purchased the $100 ticket will offer hors d’oeuvres, adult beverages and front row seats to the concert.

The concert is a sit-down show, but that’s only if people can resist the urge to get up, Rizzo said.

A 50/50 split of the proceeds from the concert will go to the the St. Vincent DePaul Food for Families, and the Mishler Theatre.

The proceeds for the theater will go to the building upkeep, Rizzo said.

Money will go to buy food for the approximately 200 people the soup kitchen feeds daily, Sister Paula DelGrosso said.

During the event, a video will show DelGrosso “in action” for the soup kitchen, Rizzo said.

DelGrosso thought the benefit concert was a “wonderful gesture” on behalf of Rizzo and Shaffer.

Shaffer is involved with the soup kitchen through Rotary, and it is “near and dear to my heart.”

The show is a chance to see a diverse group of bands under one roof in a unique setting, she said.

“This is a great opportunity for area people who wouldn’t normally go out to the bars to come out to hear all the local musical talent the area has to offer from solo guitar players to full bands,” Rizzo said. “We don’t have a lot of opportunities for live music in the area.”

Another one of those rare opportunities is also taking place Saturday in State College.

THON, the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon held annually to raise money and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer, is hosting its first benefit concert, Chords for a Cure, at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the auditorium, through the HUB ticket desk and the Downtown Theatre. Doors open at 5 p.m. The concert kicks off at 6 p.m. Bands headlining the show are Boyce Avenue and Walk the Moon.

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Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.